Fortune Magazine Says African American Women are Fastest Growing Entrepreneurs

Lisa Price, Carol's Daughter hair products
Lisa Price, owner, Carol’s Daughter hair and skin products.

*Fortune Magazine recently reported that African American women are the fastest rising group of entrepreneurs in the U. S. The report shows that the number of businesses owned by African-American women has grown 332 percent since 1997.

The 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report (PDF) was commissioned by American Express Open. It shows an enormous growth of women-owned businesses overall; and sets the percentage of growth for these businesses between 1997 and 2015 at 74 percent, which is 1.5 times the national average.

Smiling woman with arms folded
Smiling woman with arms folded

According to Fortune Magazine:

Women now own 30% of all businesses in the U.S., accounting for some 9.4 million firms. And African American women control 14% of these companies, or an estimated 1.3 million businesses. That figure is larger than the total number of firms owned by all minority women in 1997, the report found.

Dominique Convington, owner of Skin Deep Natural Body Care
Dominique Convington, owner of Skin Deep Natural Body Care

“The only bright spot in recent years with respect to privately-held company job growth has been among women-owned firms,” according to the report. These businesses have added an estimated 340,000 jobs to the economy since 2007, while employment at companies owned by men (or with equally shared ownership) has declined…


The highest concentrations of black woman-owned businesses are in Georgia, Maryland, and Illinois, but African American women are launching companies in growing numbers across the country. In Detroit, where city leaders, foundations, and even President Obama have promoted entrepreneurship as an economic development tool, a tiny nonprofit is making outsize efforts at helping black women become business owners. Since it was formed in 2012, the Build Institute has graduated nearly 600 students from its eight-week courses, which teach the basics of starting and running a business, including such topics as money management and how to determine your break-even point. Nearly 70% of those students are women, and 60% of them identify as a member of a minority group.


This revelation will probably come as no surprise to the African American women behind it. Women who, in many ways, have had no other choice but to grab the bull by the horns and make a way, where there appeared to be no way; due to societal restrictions such as racism, sexism and ageism in the workplace.

And with steadfast direct-sales and multilevel marketing business opportunities through companies such as LegalShield and Herbalife, each of whom have been around for more than 40 years and 30 years respectively, people with a desire to have more flexibility in their schedule, and work from home with the potential to earn unlimited income is a reality. These business models provide opportunities to those who are determined to have more control over the course of their financial future.

“We attribute the growth in women-owned firms to the lack of fair pay, fair promotion, and family-friendly policies found in corporate America,” says Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce. “Women of color, when you look at the statistics, are impacted more significantly by all of the negative factors that women face. It’s not surprising that they have chosen to invest in themselves.”

Dorfman’s organization has also seen substantial growth in its membership from black women entrepreneurs.

We offer a hearty congratulations to our sista’s who continue to step up to the plate that will feed them and their families now and in the future!

Sista’s, we are grinning from ear-to-ear with pride on your behalf. And we can think of no better way to show this at the moment than to show our First Lady, Michelle Obama, who declares BLACK GIRLS ROCK. See her speech by visiting BET here.



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